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Texas Rangers MLB News - Rangers Baseball Blog » 2009 » February

The Texas Rangers sign Kris Benson

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Monday 23 February 2009 at 6:07 pm

The Rangers have signed 34-year old righty reliever Kris Benson to a minor league deal. Benson pitched in 13 games (all starts) in A+AAA ball for the Phillies last season and he was 1-6 with a 5.78 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He allowed a stunning 95 hits in only 67 innings last season in the minors. Benson last pitched in the majors in 2006 when he was with the Baltimore Orioles. He has pitched in 195 games (all starts) in his major league career in which he is 68-73 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. This was a longshot signing for the Rangers but it came at the right price.

The Texas Rangers have high hopes for Chris Davis in 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 19 February 2009 at 9:42 pm

The Texas Rangers are handing the starting 1B job to 22-year old lefty swinging Chris Davis based on his awesome rookie second half of 2008. He played in 80 games for the Rangers last season and he was 84 for 295 (.285 avg, .880 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 17 homers and 55 RBIs. His lone weakness is with strikeouts as he whiffed 88 times with the Rangers last season. In 51 games at 1B last season Davis only made 1 error. Davis also played in 77 games in AA+AAA ball last season in which he was 99 for 297 (.333 avg, 1.029 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 23 homers and 73 RBIs. Look for Davis to put up huge power numbers for the Rangers in 2009.

34-year old Frank Catalanotto will likely be Davis’ backup at 1B this season. He played in 88 games for the Rangers last season and he was 68 for 248 (.274 avg, .741 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 2 homers and 21 RBIs. Catalanotto is also solid in the field as he didn’t make any errors in 33 games at first base for the Rangers last year.

28-year old lefty swinging Hank Blalock is penciled in as the starting DH for the Rangers but he can also handle 1B defensively. He played in 34 games for the Rangers at 1B last season and he only made 1 error. Blalock played in 65 games for the Rangers last season and he was 74 for 258 (.287 avg, .846 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 12 homers and 38 RBIs. Still, the Rangers are DHing him to try to keep him healthy so Catalanotto would likely play 1B before Blalock if something were to happen to Davis.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B+

The Texas Rangers are deep at catcher

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 15 February 2009 at 2:32 pm

The Rangers are three deep with quality young catchers which could lead to one of them being traded during the season for pitching help. 23-year old switch hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia has not lived up to his vast potential to this date. He played in 61 games for the Rangers last season and he was 50 for 198 (.253 avg, .716 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 3 homers and 26 RBIs. He also whiffed a stunning 74 times for the Rangers last year and that’s not a good thing. He didn’t defend well either. He only caught 7 of 47 (15%) basestealers last season and Rangers’ pitchers had a 5.14 ERA with him behind the plate.

25-year old righty swinging Taylor Teagarden burst onto the scene late in 2008 for the Rangers. He played in 16 games for them in which he was 15 for 47 (.319 avg, 1.205 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 6 homers and 17 RBIs. One has to wonder if that was a mirage or not based on looking at his minor league numbers of last season. He played in 73 games in AA+AAA ball last year and he was 52 for 246 (.211 avg, .693 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 9 homers and 22 RBIs. He also whiffed 82 times in the minors last season which is pretty alarming. Rangers’ pitchers had a 4.92 ERA throwing to him last season which isn’t too bad considering who he was catching. He also threw out 2 of 9 (22%) basestealers last season for the Rangers. It will be interesting to see how Teagarden performs this spring.

24-year old righty swinging Max Ramirez has had a big bat in the minors to date. He played in 81 games in Rookie+AA+AAA ball last year in which he was 99 for 285 (.347 avg, 1.067 OPS) with 58 runs scored, 19 homers and 57 RBIs. Ramirez also played in 17 games for the Rangers last season and he was 10 for 46 (.217 avg, .715 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 2 homers and 9 RBIs. He did throw out 3 of 15 (20%) basestealers for the Rangers last season but the pitchers had a stunning 7.90 ERA with him behind the plate.

36-year old switch hitting Adam Melhuse was brought back in case a couple of the kids aren’t ready for prime time. He played in 15 games for the Rangers and Rockies last season in which he was 5 for 30 (.167 avg, .419 OPS) with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs. He did throw out 4 of 6 (66.7%) basestealers last season and pitchers had a 4.78 ERA with him behind the plate.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: C

The Texas Rangers go the cheap route to try to improve the team

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 8 February 2009 at 9:28 pm

The Rangers tried to improve the team over the winter without spending much money and that’s hard to do. The two biggest names the Rangers brought in over the off season were veteran outfielder Andruw Jones and shortstop Omar Vizquel. Jones will battle for an outfield spot likely pushing Josh Hamilton to RF with a good spring. Vizquel will battle rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus for the starting job this spring. Even if he loses out he should help the Rangers’ bench in 2009. The Rangers brought in rookies Carlos Melo and Guillermo Moscoso in a trade with the Tigers for Gerald Laird. Both of them will have a shot to win spots in the starting rotation this spring. The Rangers also brought back Jason Jennings to battle for a spot in the rotation. The Rangers brought in Eddie Guardado, Brendan Donnelly, Derrick Turnbow and Bryan Corey to battle for spots in the pen this spring.

OFF SEASON GRADE FOR THE RANGERS: D+

Andruw Jones signs on with the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 8 February 2009 at 4:49 pm

The Rangers have signed 31-year old righty swinging outfielder Andruw Jones to a minor league deal. Jones played in 75 games for the Dodgers last season and he was 33 for 209 (.158 avg, .505 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 3 homers and 14 RBIs. He also whiffed an amazing 76 times last season! Jones has now played in 1,836 games in his major league career in which he is 1,716 for 6,617 (.259 avg, .828 OPS) with 1,066 runs scored, 371 homers, 1,131 RBIs and 138 stolen bases. Jones has been a great player in his major league career until last season so it was worth the risk for the Rangers to see how much he has left this spring.

The Texas Rangers sign Brendan Donnelly

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 8 February 2009 at 12:36 pm

The Rangers have signed 37-year old righty reliever Brendan Donnelly to a minor league deal. Donnelly pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 1-0 with a 8.56 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP. He has now pitched in 318 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 26-9 with 4 saves, a 3.12 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. This was a good signing for the Rangers as Donnelly has always been a good reliever when healthy.

The Texas Rangers bring back Jason Jennings

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 8 February 2009 at 12:33 pm

The Rangers have re-signed 30-year old righty starting pitcher Jason Jennings to a minor league deal. He pitched in 6 games (all starts) with the Rangers last season and he was 0-5 with a 8.56 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP. Jennings was injured last season so the Rangers hope a return to health will give them the pitcher they thought he was when they signed him last off season. Jennings has now pitched in 181 games (180 starts) in his major league career and he is 60-70 with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. This was a good move for the Rangers who could really use a healthy Jennings at the back end of the rotation.

The Texas Rangers sign Bryan Corey

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 8 February 2009 at 12:29 pm

The Rangers have signed 35-year old righty reliever Bryan Corey to a minor league deal. Corey pitched in 47 games (0 starts) for the Red Sox and Padres last season in which he was 1-3 with a 6.80 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He has now pitched in 91 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 4-4 with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. This was a good low risk move for the Rangers to make as they have a big need for help in the bullpen.

The Texas Rangers re-sign Eddie Guardado

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Saturday 7 February 2009 at 10:51 pm

The Rangers have re-signed 38-year old lefty reliever Eddie Guardado to a minor league deal. Guardado pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Twins and Rangers last season in which he was 4-4 with 4 saves, a 4.15 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He has now pitched in 860 games (25 starts) in his major league career and he is 45-59 with 187 saves, a 4.30 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. This was a good move for the Rangers as Guardado can help them at the back end of the bullpen in 2009.

Joaquin Benoit will miss a big chunk of 2009 for the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Thursday 5 February 2009 at 11:18 pm

Joaquin Benoit has underwent surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff which will cause him to miss a big chunk if not all of the 2009 season. He pitched in 44 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 3-2 with 1 save, a 5.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He has now pitched in 273 games (55 starts) in his major league career and he is 30-26 with 8 saves, a 4.79 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. This will likely hurt the Rangers’ bullpen as Benoit has been decent the last couple of years for them.

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